COVID-19 ravaged the NBA in 2020, and it has come back this Christmas season with. a vengeance.
Even though the vast majority of players have received the vaccine already, many names are currently missing time due to positive tests, and it's being identified as the NBA's first big outbreak since the season was shut down in the spring of '20.
Bulls guard DeMar DeRozan was recently diagnosed with the virus and described his experience to reporters on Saturday.
"I felt completely fine. That was the crazy thing, sitting here physically fine... Only symptom I had was boredom, honestly."
Obviously, every experience is different. The virus takes lives every day while people like DeRozan barely feel any symptoms at all. Of course, that reality can only make it harder to contain the spread.
“That jawn hit me hard,” said Joel Embiid after his Sixers return. “I mean, I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad so I’m just thankful to be sitting here. I struggled with it but I’m just glad I got over it. That I’m just here doing what I love with some good people.”
Certain players have even reported some long-lasting effects of COVID, like Jaylen Brown, who revealed his fight with the virus earlier this season.
"I’m used to my body responding and recovering a lot faster. I know I just turned 25, but this can’t be what it looks like on the other side,” Brown said.
“As I continue to fight through it and continue to play more games and get the right stuff into my system, it will get better,” Brown added. “Right now it has been inconsistent. I think that’s obvious. But my body hasn’t felt the same.”
Needless to say, the battle is far from over. The virus continues to mutate, putting more and more people at risk -- and as the medical world attempts to catch up, the NBA could see more and more cases.
How the league responds will be crucial in how things play out the rest of this season and beyond.